Smithfield Foods settles pork price-fixing lawsuit for $42 million

The Smithfield sign in Sioux Falls.
The Smithfield sign in Sioux Falls.(KOTA)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 1:53 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Smithfield Foods will pay restaurants and caterers $42 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the giant meat producer of conspiring to inflate pork prices.

Smithfield didn’t admit any wrongdoing but the deal will likely only add to concerns about how the lack of competition in the industry affects meat prices.

The meat industry argues that supply and demand, not anticompetitive behavior, determine prices, but the industry’s practices have been questioned by the White House, Congress and trade groups.

The restaurant companies that sued said the major meat processors shared confidential information to help them coordinate efforts to limit the supply of hogs and inflate prices.

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